Where can I find a visible star dataset?

  • I'm trying to do a project for a databases class where I have a user enter their current location and I tell them what constellations/planets/etc are visible in their area. I've seen this data compiled into images, PDFs, and website entries, but I can't seem to find a csv for it. I get that this data is bound to be massive or extremely complex, but I feel like there should be something out there. Any clues?


    Did you try googling "catalog of visible stars" ? lots of hits there

    Is it visibiliy at a given time provided by the users or is it visibility at any time? For planets you will need a date and time.

    http://vizier.u-strasbg.fr/viz-bin/VizieR?-source=V%2F53A has the 1628 brightest stars, with the goal of compiling all visible stars. It's the oldest such catalog online (I think) and the first one I used (way back in the late 80s via FTP). Searching for "bright star catalog" will give you other larger catalogs. See also http://astronomy.stackexchange.com/questions/13488 for much larger catalogs

  • JohnHoltz

    JohnHoltz Correct answer

    5 years ago

    If you are looking for stars that are visible to the unaided eye, the Yale Bright Star Catalog is a good source. It includes 9100 stars to approximately magnitude 7 and is available in ASCII and binary formats -- perfect for your database project. Based on the date, time, latitude and longitude, you can calculate which stars are above the horizon.



    As someone pointed out, the planets move day-to-day, week-to-week, or month-to-month through the constellations. (The Moon moves much faster than that, going through the complete zodiac in about 27.3 days.) You would need to calculate the position of the planets in order to determine if they are visible or not. That might be beyond the scope of your "database" project.


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Content dated before 7/24/2021 11:53 AM